4 STDs You Can Get Without Making Love

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Even if you don’t believe it, shaking hands is all it takes to get a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Yes, some infections can be spread in other ways than through sexual touch. So, how does someone get an STD if they have never had sex? Here’s the skinny…

1. HPV

Even though HPV has become something of a term in the last ten years, many people still don’t know that you can get it without being sexually active.

In fact, the human papillomavirus, which is passed from person to person through skin-to-skin contact, pregnancy, labour, or nursing, and, of course, sex, has many different types. The Mayo Clinic says that HPV can cause vaginal warts and other precancerous growths.

2. Molluscum Contagiosum

Molluscum contagiosum. This skin infection that causes round, firm, painless bumps may sound like a Harry Potter trick, but it is not a game. These bumps can spread quickly through skin-to-skin contact, like handshakes and hugs, which can cause fear.

The Mayo Clinic says that those with the virus infection are lucky because the bumps “usually go away on their own.” Also, they can be taken away with medicines and other methods.

3. Trichomoniasis

This virus can live on inanimate items for a long time after someone with the infection touches them, like a dirty bath towel or a vibrator. Sounds like a bad dream, doesn’t it? Alyssa Dweck, M.D., an OB/GYN in Westchester, New York, and coauthor of V Is for Vagina, tells Women’s Health, “There’s no clear-cut information on how long the virus can live.” The virus usually shows up as a vaginal infection with a foul-smelling discharge and itching and irritation. In other words, girls, don’t get dirty!

4. Herpes

Herpes is also called HSV, which stands for “herpes simplex virus infection.” It can be spread by kissing, using dirty razors, or even sharing tools with someone who has the virus. Even though there are two kinds of the herpes virus, HSV-1 and HSV-2, OB/GYNs aren’t making as much of a difference between them as they used to. This is because both kinds can show up anywhere, at any time. Like HPV, neither type of herpes can be cured.

 Ruthie Hawkins, BlackDoctor.org Contributor

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